O Taste and See that the Lord is good {dispelling depression during the holidays}

Those moments come… and you hope they go. You hope they flee more quickly than they settled over your head, your heart, your soul. The darkness creeps in again and you find yourself lost inside your own thoughts… and numb. When in a season, meant to be \\Full\\ of \\Thanks\\ you find yourself struggling to be Thankful… You know it is not the TRUTH. You know the TRUTH will set you FREE but the lies have a hold and the desire to BE set FREE seems too far out of reach so you turn numb.

When His whisper sweeps over you softly and says ~ Speak up. Speak out. Speak Truth. Speak MY Name. The darkness will flee. MY light will overcome it.

Freedom comes, but with a price. What were meant to be Joy-Filled Memories are overshadowed by the lies that settled in. Regret becomes your default reaction. The JOY you have is being assaulted by a familiar enemy. Feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment and sorrow swell until your Truth is distorted, and the pattern repeats.

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This sounds depressing and it is. I have been here before. Depression had come to my door, let itself in, and settled down for a visit. At my table. In my heart. More times than I would like to admit. No one wants to be depressed during the season of Thanks, but there are some who are. There are some, like me. We know Truth. We know who He is. We know what we carry, and we fight. We fight for freedom. And we win, but not without a battle. Not without a cry. Not without a cost. Not without a sacrifice.

The way I see it the lies we believe are tailored to who (we know) we are. They are fiery darts, custom made to attack our very core and distort the Truth of our identity… You’re not good enough… You’ll never have enough time… You’ll never feel healthy again… Here you go again – feeling down for no real reason… What do you have to be depressed about anyway?

I see the faces set before me, the JOY set before me. My family, my friends, my Savior. Countless reasons to GIVE THANKS, Yet for a time it will not shake. But I will not be silent. When I speak HIS name, darkness flees. Freedom Comes. Truth remains. Forgiveness settles in.

The greatest threat to depression is a VOICE. When you speak out, it is no longer hidden. The light overwhelms the darkness. Peace overwhelms my soul. Our greatest weapon (to protect our souls) is our WORSHIP.  When I worship. When I sing. Psalm 30:11-12 “…You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Joy has come and dispelled the depression once again. I have tasted and seen the Lords goodness. I have tasted and seen His love, His freedom, His peace, His forgiveness. I am grateful I can indulge in who He is this season. His love is better than any Thanksgiving Feast. Even better than the green bean casserole and apple crisp 🙂

Have you struggled with depression? Does it seem to settle in at your table during the Holidays? You are not alone and I would love to hear from you! Please share and know YOU ARE LOVED! In Him, Leslie

Finding reasons to {love} Winter

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I have found myself loving winter lately. Sure. It sounds crazy, but I can’t help myself. Adam is a native Californian and I am a native Oklahoman – two places where winter doesn’t last long or come at all, so my {love} of winter is rather comical. We have lived in Ohio and New York City for the past 13 winters, and found ourselves confronted with the bitterness of winter. As every season of cold, wind, snow and ice passes, I have grown to –and I still can’t believe I’m writing this– {love} winter. The first several winters I survived, but I really struggled with seasonal depression. Everything about winter made me angry, sad or numb. I had no joy.

I saw no value in winter.

I realize winter is not an easy season to appreciate, especially when it drags on and on. It can be costly as temperatures plummet, winter elements hit the roads making hazardous driving conditions, heating bills increase, winter clothing is needed, car batteries dying and pipes are freezing and bursting. Or –my personal favorite– it can be costly with the time it takes to bundle up yourself and 3 kids to get out the door, then shoveling your steep-ass driveway, only to find yourself stuck at the top of it, since you have the steepest driveway in your neighborhood. Yet in spite of the difficulties winter can bring, I have prayed for a change of heart and fresh outlook. I have found myself enjoying winter and being the mom who {wishes} for snow days.

Although there are still moments I find myself freaking out (stuck at the top of my steep-ass driveway) and longing for the beach…  I can honestly find reasons to {love} and enjoy winter.

*SNOW – it is beautiful. magical. unique. fluffy. pure and white. You can sled it, ski it, throw it, mold it and make angels in it. we love the outdoors and need to be outside or we go crazy, so we make it a priority to play in the snow and enjoy it.

*ClOTHING – i love boots, jeans, sweaters and coats. we have found many deals on winter clothing and shoes at thrift stores for our whole family… and on snow boots and pants, so we can bundle up and play in the winter elements. You can be fashionable, and warm, all winter long for minimal cost.

*TIME – winter slows the earth down. this is my favorite part about winter. transportation, activities and life in general, slows down… because it has to.  we are a culture that is too busy. life can stand to be a little slower all the time… yes – winter is an inconvenience, but we can learn to embrace it, enjoy it, and even {love} it.

Praying for you to survive, and even thrive, this winter… wherever you are. In Him, Leslie